The fire next door.


About six AM yesterday morning a loud noise woke me up.   At first I thought it was thunder, and then I pulled back the curtains and looked out the window.  It was still dark outside, but the small four unit apartment building next door was in flames.

I made the call to the fire department, and apparently no one else had bothered to, because later on in the news story,  it said”the call came when the fire was already in an advanced stage.”

We were lucky.   There is a large tree in our yard that almost touches the roof of the apartment buildings, and there was shrapnel falling off the flaming roof into the bushes below and even the grass.   The fact there’s been so much rain was probably the reason the fire didn’t really spread once it touched the grass.  But if that tree had caught flame from the roof … well, let’s just say I may not have a house right now.   Thank goodness we woke up when we did.

Tragically, one elderly woman in the apartment building didn’t make it out.    Another person was injured and is in the hospital in serious condition.   I hope no pets were trapped inside.

The police are suspecting arson.  There has been some suspicious activity in that building lately, and they are investigating.    I took two photos — the one you see heading this post was taken around 6:20, before the fire department arrived.   It was taken just as the fire was spreading to the roof.  The second (below) was taken several hours later after it was put out.  The building continued to smolder for the rest of the day.   All four units were completely hollowed out.


Here is the news story that appeared yesterday evening.



13 thoughts on “The fire next door.

  1. Wow! That is scary and I’m glad you and your house are OK. I hate to think how dangerous it would be if any of the houses close here were to burn, what with lots of pines from saplings to 100 footers, dense Rhododendrons and leaf litter, and, of course, all the houses are either log cabins or wood sided.

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    • Yeah, we have all that here, too. The big tree that’s in my front yard but is almost touching the roof of the apt. building is a pine of some sort, and I know how deadly they can be if they catch fire and how hot they burn. My house was built in 1908 and is all wood, not sure about the apt. bldg. it looks to have been built in the 70s.

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  2. Glad you remained directly untouched by the fire. Twenty-five years ago I woke up to my house on fire, and it still haunts me. I was lucky, but the downstairs neighbors (whose negligence started the fire) lost their dog. I’m sorry to read someone lost her life by you. What a shame. Be safe!

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    • I never saw a fire up close like that before. I feel terrible someone didn’t make it (there’s another person in the hospital with injuries) but glad it didn’t spread to other houses or trees. It easily could have!


      • Fire is so scary. I imagine that you must be feeling either really numb right now, or all kinds of conflicting emotions. At least, that’s how I think I would probably feel.

        When I was around five years old, my mother was burning trash in our back yard and a gust of wind set the woods behind our house on fire. We lived in a remote area, so there wasn’t any fire department. Some neighbors came over and formed a bucket brigade from our well house to the fireline, but it didn’t do much good. I watched from only a few feet away as the fire raced from tree to tree, turning the beautiful shady green forest that I loved into nothing but black stumps, hollowed out tree trunks, and piles of smoldering ash. Acres of trees, all gone, in just minutes. But thankfully no one was killed, and the wind blew the fire away from our house.

        That was really scary to see. But if someone had been killed or badly injured in that fire, it would have been so much worse.

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